Armed Group Structure and Violence in Civil Wars: The Organizational Dynamics of Civilian Killing, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Armed Group Structure and Violence in Civil Wars

The Organizational Dynamics of Civilian Killing, 1st Edition

By Roos Haer


222 pages

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Hardback: 9781138829367
pub: 2015-04-17
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This book examines whether differences in the organizational structure of armed groups shape patterns of human rights violations in civil wars.

Since the end of World War II, civil wars have been characterized by extremely high numbers of civilian casualties. However, the exact extent of civilian suffering varies across time, conflict, and geographic region. Recently, a new strand of research has emerged, primarily focused on studying the dynamics underlying the variation in civilian abuse by examining the characteristics of the armed groups and how these characteristics influence the armed groups’ behaviour towards the civilian population.

With reference to principal-agent theory and data on the organizational structure of more than 70 armed groups active worldwide from 1989 onwards, the author’s analysis functions both on the level of the armed group and on the level of the individual via personal interviews with combatants.

Offering a unique insight into how factors such as recruitment methods, hierarchy and organizational commitment may affect the likelihood of civilian abuse by combatants, this book will be of much interest to students of political violence, civil wars, war and conflict studies, security studies and IR in general.

Table of Contents

Introduction Part I. Theory: The Internal Organization of Armed Groups 1. Principal-agent theory and armed groups 2. The problem of adverse selection 3. The problem of moral hazard Part II. The Armed Groups 4.Web survey design 5. Armed group analyses and results Part III. The Combatants 6. Quantitative interview with combatants 7. Combatant analyses and results 8. Conclusion and discussion

About the Author

Roos Haer is a Senior Research Fellow at Konstanz University, Germany, and has a PhD in International Relations.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Civil Wars and Intra-State Conflict

This series publishes theoretically rigorous and empirically original scholarship on all aspects of armed intrastate conflict, including its causes, nature, impacts, patterns of violence, and resolution. It also publishes books which explore debates about the politics, sociological aspects and economics of civil wars, and their international dimensions. The series has a broad intellectual remit designed to be open to a range of academic methodologies and interests, including innovative empirical approaches, and welcomes work on specific armed conflicts and the micro-dynamics of violence, on broad patterns and cross-national analyses of civil wars, and on historical perspectives as well as contemporary challenges. It also seeks to explore the policy implications of conflict analysis, especially as it relates to international security, intervention and peacebuilding.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Terrorism